Monday, October 28, 2013

Equal Marriage Referendum in Ireland by 2015

Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister (Tanaiste), Eamon Gilmore, has promised the country will vote on same-sex marriage by 2015, before the next general election.

Gilmore said there will be a referendum on the issue after an overwhelming majority of the Constitutional Convention voted to recommend it. And he added: "The time has come for Ireland to introduce marriage rights for gay couples. I don’t believe we should postpone what is a human right".

Labour representative, Michael McNamara, also said he was fully supportive of Gilmore's plan to have a gay marriage referendum. 

A 2013 poll showed 75% of Irish people were in agreement with same-sex marriage should be allowed in the Constitution.

Will be Ireland the next European country to legalize equal marriage?

A demonstration in Dublin for marriage equality

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Thousands in Taiwan Rally for Gay Marriage

Tens of thousands rallied in Taipei's gay pride parade today in support of a marriage equality bill under consideration by the Taiwanese legislature.

Holding rainbow flags, colourful placards and balloons, participants from Taiwan and several Asian countries marched the streets in a bustling business district in Taiwan's capital for the 11th annual gay parade.

The rally came as Taiwan’s Parliament on Friday decided to begin reviewing a bill to amend the Civil Code in order to allow same-sex marriages, amid an increasingly tolerant environment on the island nation.

It's time Taiwan!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

First Gay Marriages in New Jersey

After Supreme Court of New Jersey rulings in favor of marriage equality, the first same-sex couples rushed to hold ceremonies to get married across the Garden State.

Mayors in New Jersey cities including Jersey City and Newark opened their city halls at 12:01am Monday morning, the official start-date of the court order, to marry eager couples.

Steve Fulop, Mayor of Jersey City, officiated the marriages of several gay and lesbian couples in City Hall, in front of hundreds people, one minute after Sunday midnight. And Newark Mayor, Cory Booker, also performed marriage ceremonies for nine couples at Newark’s City Hall at same time.

It's expected that a rush of weddings will continue in coming days as couples are able to get licenses.

New Jersey has become 14th state of U.S. to recognize same-sex marriage, after California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia.

Congrats to all newlyweds!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Serious Clashes in Montenegro Gay March

About 150 Montenegrins activists succeeded for the first time in staging a gay pride march in Podgorica, the country's capital, although the march has to be guarded by almost 2,000 police officers.

The LGBT marchers walked peacefully through the city, but the clashes occurred when over a thousand of anti-gay protesters tried to push through cordons of police to reach those taking part in march.

About 60 of the homophobic opponents who took part in the riots were arrested, and other 60 was injured, police said. 

After the march, the gay rights demonstrators had to be evacuated to a safe location in police vehicles.

Such march is seen as a test of Montenegro's commitment to human rights as it seeks to join the European Union. Extremists attacked a similar march in July in the coastal town of Budva.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Gay Couples Can Marry in New Jersey From Monday

The Supreme Court of the U.S. state of New Jersey has given the go ahead for same-sex marriages to begin on Monday.

The Court has rejected an appeal made by Republican Governor Chris Christie over an earlier ruling that banning same-sex couples from marrying broke the state’s constitution.

Chief Justice Stuart Rabner wrote in the judgment: "The State has advanced a number of arguments, but none of them overcome this reality: same-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today. The harm to them is real, not abstract or speculative".

After the decision, Steve Fulop, mayor of Jersey City, has said his city is ready to issue marriage licenses to gay couples on Monday.

Great news from the Garden State!

 Gov. Christie taking the oath of office 
from Chief Justice Rabner in 2010

Thursday, October 17, 2013

It's Spirit Day

Thursday, October 17th, is national Spirit Day, and the #SpiritDay tag is filled with purple. 

Spirit Day is the annual day, held on the third thursday of October, when millions of people wear purple to speak out against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth.

Spirit Day was started in 2010 by high school student Brittany McMillan as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives. Observed annually, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals and celebrities wear purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag. 

Getting involved is easy, participants are asked to simply "go purple" on October 17th, as we work to create a world in which LGBT teens are celebrated and accepted for who they are.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Greg Louganis Just Married

Greg Louganis, the American Olympic diver, who won gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games, has just married with his partner Johnny Chaillot, last night in Malibu.

Congrats to newlyweds!

Louganis in 1988 Seoul Olympics

Monday, October 14, 2013

LGBT Rights Activists Clash with Homophobic Campaigners in Russia

One LGBT rights demonstration, in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, ended in violence when several dozen gay protesters were confronted by about two hundred conservative and religious activists in the Field of Mars, in central St. Petersburg.

The disturbance began after a group of gay rights activists tried to hold a demonstration to mark International Coming Out Day. They were far outnumbered by the anti-gay demonstrators, including several dressed as Cossacks and Orthodox priests, who had occupied the site of the planned demo.

Police intervened in a fight that ensued after gay rights campaigners attempted to raise rainbow flags. Police broke up the scuffles between gay rights activists and their homophobic opponents, and detained 67 people, including protesters from both sides. There were apparently no major injuries.

While, Russia's President Vladimir Putin continues denying the new law banning gay propaganda is aimed at cracking down on homosexuals' rights.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Russia Stops International Adoptions to Sweden over Gay Marriage

Russian authorities have stopped the adoption of Russian children by all Swedish couples based on the legalisation of equal marriage in Sweden. As I published last September, Russia is stopping international adoptions with countries which allow same-sex marriage. 

Currently, Russia requires, as a condition of an international adoption, the prior signing of a bilateral agreement between Russia and the foreign country, because Russia will now seek legal agreements to ensure that only heterosexual couples can adopt.

The results of that policy is hinder the agreements with countries which allow equal marriage, as confirmed  the Foreign Ministry of Sweden, Carl Bildt, who said that so far no agreement had been reached to allow straight or gay Swedish couples adopt.

Meanwhile, Russian politician Vitaly Milonov called homosexuals "perverts" in a TV interview, arguing that children would be better off staying in Russian orphanages. He said: "The perverts? No, it is unacceptable. Homosexuals are perverts and should absolutely not be allowed to adopt children". And he added: "Children who grow up in that kind of environment are destroyed psychologically".

This time, the discrimination to LGBT people in Russia with side effects for foreign heterosexual couples who wants to adopt.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Come Out With Orlando Pride Festival 2013

Over 120,000 people filled Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando, last weekend, to enjoy the current edition of Come Out With Pride Orlando Festival. This year's celebration was focused on wider inclusion and a stronger family-friendly aesthetic.

After 18 years, the event is considered the largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender festival in Central Florida.

The colorful long parade featured with nearly 100 groups participating, with entertainment, concerts and a big fireworks for ending.

Central Florida also hosts other large global pride event in June, with the annual GayDays held at Walt Disney World, in the Universal Resort of Orlando.

A great opportunity to claim and have fun with pride!.

Steve Grand performed the Opening Ceremony

Monday, October 7, 2013

Important Step of Western Australia Anglican Church to Equal Marriage

The Synod of the Anglican Church of Western Australia has voted in support of a motion saying that legally recognized same-sex unions can coexist with heterosexual marriage.

"We presented a motion saying that the Anglican Church and the Diocese of Perth would like to acknowledge that legal recognition of same-sex relations can coexist with legal recognition of marriage between a man and a woman", said Reverend Chris Bedding.

Now Perth's Archbishop, Roger Herft, has 30 days to decide whether to assent or dissent to this motion. 

Australian activists for equal marriage welcome the motion and they think it's reflective of the ever increasing community support to the legal recognition of the relationships of same-sex couples in Australia, and they call on the Australian Government to take the decisive step.

It's time Australia!

Archbishop Herft has to decide about the motion

A Kiss Leads to a Marriage

Exciting news: The guys of one of most famous gay kisses have been married.

Brandon Morgan and Dalan Wells have tied the knot in a little chapel at Honeyone Falls (NY).

In February 2012, their passionate kiss quickly went around the globe when Brandon, U.S. marine, returned home to Hawaii after a one year tour in Afghanistan.

Last June, Brandon surprised Dalan proposing him to get married, and he accepted inmediately.

Now, this awesome couple are husbands. Congrats to the newlyweds!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Greek Activists Protest at Sochi Flame's Passage

Dozens of Greek activists peacefully protested today against Russia's anti-gay laws, at the Olympic flame passage through central Athens, ahead of the handover of the Olympic flame to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics organisers.

The activists gathered on the Acropolis Museum's steps, raising rainbow flags and holding banners reading "Homophobia is not in the Spirit of the Olympics" and "Love is not Propaganda". 

The activists declared in a statement: "Russia receives the Olympic flame, a globally recognized symbol of humanitarian ideals. Yet the laws in Russia are far from the ideals of human rights when it comes to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender, queer people, who are tortured, abused and discriminated against. We choose not to be silent this day".

Recently, the IOC was satisfied because it's convinced that Russia will respect the Olympic charter and there will be no discrimination during 2014 Sochi Olympics. 

But, after passing the law banning gay propaganda last June, the situation of LGBT people in Russia is becoming increasingly difficult and the homophobic climate has reached unacceptably levels. Critics confirm that law effectively bans all gay rights rallies and could be used to prosecute anyone voicing support for homosexuals.

 The Olympic flame lighting using the sun’s rays, 
at ancient Olympia's ceremony

A moment of the activists protest in Athens

Friday, October 4, 2013

Interesting Video Survey...

A few weeks ago, vlogger Mark Miller published a video survey asking girls if they considered him as gay. He got a very interesting answers and reactions.

Now, Mark has just published a new video survey asking guys about the same question. The men's answers and reactions are really cool.

I know they aren't scientific surveys but I've liked the approach, and the respondents' naturalness and their open mind.

Great job Mark!

Asking girls...

Asking guys...

U.S. Olympic Medallist Skier Against Russian Anti-gay Laws

Bode Miller, U.S. Olympic skier, thinks Russian anti-gay laws are embarrassing, and the International Olympic Committee's decision advising athletes not to speak out about this issue is hypocritical and unfair.

Speaking at the U.S. Olympic Committee media summit, the outspoken Miller was very clear on his view of the controversial Russian law, which bans the spread of homosexual propaganda among minors.

Miller said: "I think it is absolutely embarrassing there are countries and people who are that intolerant, that ignorant". And he added: "But it's not the first time we've been dealing with human rights issues since there were humans. My main emotion when I hear about stuff like that is embarrassment. As a human being I think it is embarrassing".

Miller is one of the best alpine skiers in U.S. history, with 33 World Cup wins and five Olympic medals.

Miller hasn't heeded IOC's advise

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Out in the Dark

Out in the dark is Michael Mayer's first feature-length movie. A gay love story about two men having a romantic and sexual relationship in a very complicate environment, the dispute between Palestinians and Israelis in the Middle East.

Set against the backdrop of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the film chronicles the cross-border love affair between ambitious Palestinian college student Nimir, who has a pass to travel to study in Tel Aviv, and an Israeli attorney, Roy. Though Roy is out of the closet, Nimir, who lives in the West Bank city of Ramallah, has kept his sexuality hidden from his traditional Muslim family.

Mayer said his inspiration for the film came from a friend who was volunteering at the gay and lesbian center in Tel Aviv and offered support to Palestinians who were hiding illegally.

Casting with: Nicholas Jacob (Nimr Mashrawi), Michael Aloni (Roy Schaefer), Jameel Khouri (Nabil Mashrawi), Alon Pdut (Gil) and Loai Noufi (Mustafa N’amna).

This film has won in:
  • 2013 Toronto Inside Out Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival, Special Jury Award.
  • 2013 Torino International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Audience Award.
  • 2013 San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, Best First Feature
  • 2013 Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Audience Award.
  • 2013 Nashville Film Festival, Honorable Mention.
  • 2013 Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Audience Award.
  • 2013 Guadalajara Mexican Film Festival, Mayahuel Award.
  • 2012 Haifa International Film Festival, Israeli Film Competition Award.

Maybe a modern variation of Shakespeare's Romeo, in any case an awesome and intense love' story in a real dramatic context.

Watch it, it's worth it!